Beautiful One Day Breathtaking the Next

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A Photo is Worth a Thousand Superlatives

Above Pheriche, EBC Trek, Nepal

From the moment you walk out of Lukla to trek to Everest Base Camp the views are beautiful. The higher you go the more amazing the views, higher again the views become breathtaking panoramas. Looking through the hundreds of photos taken by The Trainer and our two treks through the Khumbu, the beauty is commonplace and you gravitate to the most spectacular photos. It is easy for a good photo to go unnoticed. Like this one.

I found it hiding in among some spectacular shots in my media viewer. When I looked closer I realised it was a great photo that had it all. The long milky river, the panorama of mountains, the track where you walk, the close up of the plus 4,4oo metres ground where I was standing and the settlement of Pheriche below in the distance. This walk on day nine of our trek from Dingboche (4,360 metres) to Dughla (4,600 ) was a relatively easy walk. And we took a side walk off behind Dughla to have a look at the lake.

An here is the view or should I say panorama taken down in the valley just before we walked through Pheriche. Sometimes I still can’t believe that’s me in the red jacket and our porter guide walking alongside. I walked through that magnificent landscape. Spectacular, hey?

Near Pheriche Everest Base Camp Trek

 

 

All Things Yak on the EBC Track

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Meeting Yaks on the Track

On the Everest Base Camp trek you might see mountain goats, magnificent eagles and other beautiful birds but the yaks were my favourite along the trail.

These hardworking animals are the delivery vans on the EBC trail. There are no roads. Everything goes up and down on the back of a donkey, yak or a porter.

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Yaks between Shomare adn Digboche

The First Rule of the Track – Stand Aside for Yaks

I loved the sound of the yak bells as they approached. Hearing the bells is a signal to find somewhere safe to stand on the mountain side and wait while they pass. The first rule of the track. If you are caught standing on the outside of the path you risk being knocked off the side of the mountain. The baby yak in the video had his own plans about which path he would take.

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The walled sections of grassland above are yak pastures between Shomare and Dingboche. Not only do these wonderful animals carry packs and food up the trail they also provide fuel. The woman was collecting dung from the yak pasture to dry to use for cooking and heat.

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A young girl resting with her basket full of yak dung behind her.

Shop front Everest Base Camp Trail

Yaks, well really the naks which are the females, provide milk which in turn is made into cheese which you probably will find on top of your pizzas on the trek.

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This guy just would not move. I really think he wanted his photo taken. Say Yak Cheese!

Many travel experiences provide possibilities of  interactions with animals, wild ones if you are lucky.

Some animal travel memories of mine are seals on Kangaroo Island when I was a child, monkeys in Bali, passaperos (dog walkers) and their packs of dogs in Buenos Aires, llamas in Argentina and a day spent riding camels in the desert in Rajasthan. But hundreds of dolphins in the mouth of the Gambia River was probably my most magic wildlife experience. It took us totally by surprise and was amazing. Do you have any special memories of animal encounters while you traveled?

Other I things I loved on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Unbelievably most of the photos and the video show yaks without loads! Which means they were on return journeys. The photos were taken in 2015 when the season was extremely slow after the earthquakes. I’ll have to get a good full load photo next time.

 

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Simple Not Basic

A Post About Food on the EBC Trek Becomes More. Or Is it Less?

There is a difference between basic and simple. Especially when you are traveling.

Recently I posted about accommodation on the EBC trek being basic. A comment from a fellow blogger (thanks Miriam) made me rethink how I had labelled  the accommodation. It is the very fact the Everest Base Camp Trek is basic, makes it so good. Basic can be seen as a negative.  So simple, not basic, is a better word to use. Because it is the simplicity of the EBC trek that makes it so special.

Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp trek

Walking into Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp Trek

The simplicity of the accommodation, the simple food, the every day simple routine. The early to bed, early to rise. Get up, get dressed, eat,  leave. Which way to go? Up or down. Maps to consult? No, not really, there is one path. Just like a pilgrimage, you know where you are going and why. The people you meet, the common quest, the simplicity of the destination but the challenge of getting there make it special. A quest so well rewarded.

No phone calls, television, emails and internet access is limited. All put into perspective in the big landscape or simple path you are on. Up or down.

And yes,  simple meals too. This simple meal below in  simple surroundings is one I remember well. A bowl of hot simple potato soup made with the broth and grated potatoes. A well earned bowl of soup after a hard steep walk out of Namche Bazaar and a 600 metre trek down hill to the river to Phunki Tenga.  Three hours plus of a hard work, it was a meal well earned.  A simple meal, simple surroundings the roar of the river, the sound of the yak bells as the yaks pass. Simple stunning beauty all around.

Potato soup at Phunki Tenga at 3250metres EBC Trek trail

So back to the food, yes the food is simple. But it is good. It is organically grown along the track and cooked in a simple kitchen.

Vegetables growing in the Khumbu

Food in a Namche Bazaar lodge

A meal in Namche Bazaar above.

Potato Soup Nepal

This bowl of potato soup was al fresco at Debouche on the trail down. In a stunning landscape. How much simpler and more beautiful can you get?

December 2013

The umbrellas above,  weren’t the norm. The Sherpa stew was.

Vegetables growing on the EBC Trail

Simple, but addictive. Everest Base Camp Trek too simple to say no.

Need more convincing?  25 Reasons to Trek To Everest Base Camp

Trekking to Everest Base Camp ? Are you up to it?

 

Pop-Up Restaurant at Everest Base Camp Aims for Peak of Fine Dining

Talk about an “extreme foodies wish Luist”. Would love to know what they all ate. If you could do this where would it be ?

CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

Chefs are trekking thousands of feet to prepare fancy food in the cold

Trekkers pass through a glacier at the Mount Everest base camp, Nepal.

The peaks of fine dining just keep getting higher and higher.

A caravan of roving chefs and their 15 guests is currently making its way up the Himalayas toward the base camp at Mount Everest, where, 17,500 feet above sea level and amid the lashing winds and bone-penetrating chill of the Nepalese winter, food will be served.

The One Star House Party, as the project has been dubbed, is preparing 16 more such destination dining experiences, one a month, through 2018, though not all of the destinations are so extreme. Among the chefs involved is James Sharman, a onetime chef de partie at Noma, the influential, soon-to-close restaurant that put Copenhagen on the global culinary map.

The Nepal journey is costing…

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Fashion on the Track

Striding Through Pheriche in the Khumbu

Periche

Here I am walking through Periche looking like the Michelin Man. There are lots of terrible shots of me on the trek with hat hair, up way too close etc. Showers are a rare thing on the track, so is clean hair and there are no mirrors. Complete with the hat and given today is the first Tuesday in November, the day of the nation stopping Melbourne Cup (horse race) I decided on a twist the Fashion on the Track theme. Tongue in cheek of course. However my ensemble does show off some accessories that you shouldn’t leave home for Everest Base Camp without. Continue reading

A Snapshot of the Bridges to EBC

Bridges the Traffic Lights of the Everest Base Camp Trek

via Daily Prompt: Bridge

Small bridge before Gorak Shep going to EBC

The last bridge before Gorak Shep, the last place with lodges before Everest Base Camp. That’s me and our porter guide just ahead. Continue reading

Weather Forecast at EBC

Believe It or Not

Everest Base Camp Trail Weather Pyramid

Italian Weather Pyramid out of Lobuche in the direction of Gorak Shep

The Weather Cam at Everest Base Camp or thereabouts. The Trainer walked there by himself. I decided to stay in the lodge and rest up for the next to big days. Built by the Italians he joked he was in search of a short black coffee …

Dingboche Door Framed View

Lodge in dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Our lodge in Dingboche

Climbing to Namche, Up Down Up, Down Down, Down Up Up Up, Up Up Up

Day Two Phakding to Monjo 2013  and Phakding to Namche Bazaar 2015

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Above is the suspension bridge at Upper Phakding. We stayed at the lodge just above the end of the bridge in the photo on the way back down from our 2013 trek. The bridge is the site of my donkey video.

PLANNING THE TREK BY THE SEASONS

When planning our trek for late September we expected some rain. Continue reading

Donkey Central at Phakding – Chuk Chuk – Video

Donkeys on the trail to EBC

Keeping the slow donkeys moving from the safety of the sidelines. CHUK!

Rule Number Two: Give Way to the donkeys too.

I posted this video on Facebook on our first trek in November December 2013. It was taken on my iphone and shows the number of donkeys on the trail and why you don’t want to be on the bridge at the same time as donkey herd. Continue reading

Heading Out from Lukla for Everest Base Camp – Day One to Phakding

Walking out of Lukla

trek n.1. a long difficult journey, esp. on foot 2. SA journey or stage, esp by ox wagon            3. make a trek  – trekker 

Saying Goodbye in Melbourne

In September 2015 my husband and I flew to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. At the departure hall at Melbourne Airport saying goodbyes to our adult daughters,  the eldest hugged her father and said

                          “Dad, go easy on Mum remember it’s her holiday too.”  She turned                                      to me and said “Mum, ….man up.”

And with that sage advice… Continue reading

To Walk to Hike to Trek

Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trekClimb Every Mountain

A year ago today we, The Trainer (also my husband and not a personal trainer) and I flew from Melbourne into Kathmandu to trek to Everest Base Camp. We nearly cancelled the trip because of the earthquakes but had trained so much, we agreed to go. Two years earlier we had gone even though I didn’t  really want to go. We trained hard for the trek, we walked, biked, stepped, climbed, stretched and hiked for six months and in fact over trained but we didn’t make it to Base Camp.

In September 2015 we were well and truly prepared to try again.  We had trained for six months  – general fitness then building up to more intense training in the last three months, treadmill, walks, bike rides, stretching, stair training and I guess you could say hiked. I looked up a few definitions of hike.

hike    walk for a long distance, especially across country.
“they hiked across the moors”   synonyms: walk, go on foot, trek, tramp, trudge, traipse, slog, footslog, plod, march

We hiked, I trudged and tramped all over the river area near where we live and all over the hills in our neighbourhood with my trekking gear, boots, packs and trekking poles.

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This was much to the puzzlement of commuters passing by and to the amusement of hospital patients in their beds looking out the window onto one of our practising hills. No sooner did I arrive at the top of the hill than the Trainer pointed back down at the bottom, striding off leaving me resting at the top. I would get to the bottom and he strode back up telling me how many more times he wanted me to go up and down. Each training session he would add a little more water to the bottles in my back pack  slowly increasing its weight. Which brings me to the second definition which resonates with me:

 

hike – to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural  areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
Military training! Yes. And most the time it wasn’t pleasurable. I would come home from work  and have a backpack thrown at me and was told to get changed. Rain or shine, out we went. By the time we left for Kathmandu we were training five days a week including week nights. By the last week I was exhausted and near tears when he suggested a final training session.  That was in 2013. Last year I told him what I thought of his idea.
So Hike I think I know all about it. But have to add that I had never really hiked  or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
EBC Trek Dingboche Ridgetop

At 4200 metres on the Dingboche Ridgetop

I am retracing our steps over the next few weeks, re-blogging posts adding new material and combining some of the 2013 and 2015 trek posts so you can see the difference  a few months can make to the trek in terms of the weather. Adding more basic information too. Why don’t you join us, the Trainer and me?
Louise – and yes I am  over fifty. I have read some horror stories posted by young bloggers trekking to Everest Base Camp . Those treks are usually done too fast ( hence the vomiting and terrible headaches) and I will bet the ones complaining about all the aches and pains have not trained. Perhaps they need  a Trainer?
Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trek

Above Pangboche

Other posts you may like to read.
An example of our last months training 2015
This post fitted perfectly with the Daily Post word prompt HIKE

At the Top of Kala Patthar

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Reminiscing – the Trip of My Life

IMG_1809The Best Travel Adventure

Trekking to Everest Base Camp

I had travelled through the Sahara and been to Timbuktu, seen Iguazu Falls and Rio and lived in Milan and Buenos Aires and was about to go on the trip of my life but I didn’t know it. I sat on the couch with a small pot of expensive lip moisturiser in my hands, crying. Continue reading

Recharging in Nepal

Resting Spots Along the Trail to Everest Base Camp

A post about the porters on my Everest Base Camp Trek blog is long overdue. The Daily Post Daily Prompt Recharge has given me a perfect launching point.

Trekking through the Khumbu you see resting points for porters to unload, rest and recharge. These resting spots are at a height so the porters can easily unload and reload onto their backs without having to lift their load from the ground. Porters loads at a resting point on the EBC TrekThe photo shows the typical oversized baskets called a doko used by porters. The T-shaped wooden walking stick at the bottom left of the screen is called a tokma. Continue reading

What, No Mirror ?

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Yes I agree this is not a brilliant photo. But it is the only one from our Everest Base Camp trek with a reflection. Our, being me and The Trainer. And there were no mirrors either and I could have done with one of those.

Photos of reflections in water are rare on the EBC trek . The rivers are running too fast Continue reading

Mani Stones

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Quiet contemplation … Om Mani Padme Hum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Om_mani_padme_hum

Connecting When You Travel – Chokos, Children and Conversations

Last year in Nepal “connecting” started with learning a few words of Nepalese at the small hotel we stayed in Kathmandu. People always respond well if you have a go at speaking their language, they love it. My choice of words might seem strange. I learnt  Continue reading

Keeping Watch in Khumjung

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal

Eyes peeping out from the yellow fringe seem sad against the grey cloudy backdrop. Despite being badly cracked from the 2015 earthquake, the stupa still stands sentinel at the end of the main path into Khumjung and watching over the Sir Edmund Hillary School.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/eyes/